Permissive parenting is a parenting style that is characterized by high responsiveness and low levels of behavioral control. This parenting style stands in stark contrast to the authoritarian parenting style, which emphasizes strict rules and control. Permissive parents are often loving, warm, and responsive to their children but lack the boundaries necessary to enforce rules and discipline. In this blog post, we will discuss what permissive parenting is, its effects on children, tips on how to stop being a permissive parent, and alternatives to permissive parenting. We will also provide resources for further reading.

Definition of Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is a parenting style characterized by high responsiveness and low demands. It is often referred to as “indulgent parenting” and involves parents being warm and nurturing, but lacking in rules and discipline. This type of parenting allows children to make their own decisions, with limited guidance from their parents. It is important to note that while this style of parenting can be beneficial in some situations, it can also lead to a lack of boundaries and structure, which can have negative consequences in the long run.

Characteristics of Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is characterized by a high level of responsiveness and warmth toward children, but a lack of rules and discipline. This style of parenting is often likened to that of a friend rather than a parental figure, as there are only limited rules and expectations set. Permissive parents show unconditional love and acceptance towards their children, and do not attempt to impose any form of control or structure in the child’s life. This can lead to children feeling a sense of freedom, but it can also lead to feelings of confusion and insecurity if there are no clear boundaries set by the parent. Some other common characteristics of permissive parenting include low expectations, little to no punishment or consequences for bad behavior, and an unwillingness to enforce structure or routine.

Pros and Cons of Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting has both pros and cons associated with it. On the positive side, children raised in a permissive environment often feel more secure and confident, and are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings. Permissive parents are usually relatively warm and responsive to their children, fostering secure attachment and a strong bond between parent and child. On the downside, however, permissive parenting can lead to a clash between the wants and needs of the child and the expectations of the parents. As permissive parents generally do not control or regulate their children’s behavior, they may be less aware of the limits of acceptable behavior. It is important for parents who choose to use a permissive style of parenting to be aware of these potential pitfalls and take steps to minimize their impact.

Effects of Permissive Parenting on Children

Studies have shown that permissive parenting has a number of negative effects on children. Research has found links between permissive parenting and increased alcohol use among teenagers, higher rates of school misconduct, and poor academic performance. Permissive parents may also use toys or food as bribes to make their children behave, which can lead to unhealthy habits and an overall lack of self-discipline. Additionally, children with permissive parents often have higher levels of “externalizing” problems such as aggression and disruptive behavior. As parents, it is important to recognize the potential effects of permissive parenting, so that they can take the necessary steps to ensure their child’s safety and well-being.

Tips on How to Stop Being a Permissive Parent

In order to stop being a permissive parent and start using positive discipline, it’s important to first develop a list of basic household rules that you and your child can both agree on. It’s also important to validate your child’s emotions by listening to their feelings and expressing empathy, rather than simply punishing them for their behavior. Additionally, be sure to establish clear expectations for your child, and provide consistent consequences for their actions. Lastly, take the time to learn about alternatives to permissive parenting so you can better manage your child’s behavior without being too demanding. By following these tips, you can create an environment of mutual respect and ensure that both you and your child are happy.

Alternatives to Permissive Parenting

Alternatives to permissive parenting include authoritative, authoritarian, and uninvolved parenting. Authoritative parenting is a style that encourages communication, sets clear expectations and rules, and allows for some flexibility in enforcing them. Authoritarian parenting is a stricter style that focuses on obedience and does not allow for much discussion or negotiation. Uninvolved parenting is a hands-off style that gives children little guidance or supervision. Each of these styles has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand what each one entails and how it may affect the development of a child before deciding which style to use.

How to Manage Your Child’s Behavior Without Being Too Demanding

Managing your child’s behaviour without being overly strict or demanding can be a challenge for any parent. One way to do this is to set clear expectations for your child and communicate them effectively. Letting your child know what behaviour is expected of them, and why, can help them understand the consequences of their actions. Additionally, it is important to be consistent in setting and enforcing boundaries. Establishing rules that are consistently enforced will help children understand the importance of these expectations. When disciplining your child, use positive reinforcement instead of punishment whenever possible. This will help your child learn from their mistakes while also feeling supported. Finally, it is important to show your children love and appreciation, even when they are not behaving as expected. This will help build a connection between you and your children that goes beyond discipline, and will encourage them to make better decisions in the future.


In conclusion, permissive parenting is characterized by high responsiveness to the needs of the child and low demands for behavioral expectations. Although this parenting style can foster warm and affectionate relationships between parents and children, it can also lead to negative outcomes if not managed properly. For example, permissive parenting can result in a lack of structure and discipline, which may lead to feelings of insecurity and difficulty with self-regulation. Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of the pros and cons of this parenting style, so that they can make informed decisions about how best to manage their child’s behavior. Additionally, it is important for parents to consider alternative approaches to parenting that emphasize setting boundaries while still providing warmth and support. By understanding the implications of permissive parenting and exploring other options, they can ensure that their children have the guidance they need to grow into successful adults.

Check out the other types of parenting.

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